Stars-Blues Preview

The St. Louis Blues can tend to a trio of issues in their next game. They've struggled the last month - most notably at home - and haven't beaten their next opponent in St. Louis in the last four meetings.

Trouble is, the team they're about to welcome happens to be sitting atop the NHL.

The Dallas Stars look to add to the league's only win total in the 20s on Saturday night while netting their fifth straight victory at Scottrade Center against the slumping Blues.

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While St. Louis (16-9-4) is 1-3-1 to open December, the Stars (22-5-2) have continued to roll. Dallas extended its point streak to seven games with Friday's 3-1 win over Philadelphia, its longest since going 10-0-1 from Feb. 21-March 13, 2012.

Another win would also extend Dallas' streak in St. Louis. The four consecutive wins - the last three in regulation - are the most for the Stars as visitors in this series since the two teams joined the NHL in 1967, including Dallas' time in Minnesota.

St. Louis' lengthiest run without a win in this series was eight games, two three-game losing streaks separated by a pair of ties, from March 13, 1982-Jan. 27, 1984. The Blues have won the last two in this series, but both were in Dallas.

The Stars extended their Central Division lead over St. Louis and Chicago to 10 points with Friday's win.

Mattias Janmark and Antoine Roussel each scored in the second period to help the Stars rebound from an early deficit and Jamie Benn upped his league-leading total to 20 goals with an empty-netter late.

"I thought we played maybe our best all-around game when it comes to puck movement," coach Lindy Ruff told the team's official website. "Playing in their own end, I thought, (we) did a lot of great things in the game."

Dallas is 7-0-2 in its last nine road contests, though the two overtime losses came in the last three games.

St. Louis hasn't won consecutive games since three straight victories from Nov. 4-10, a span of 14 games after opening the season 11-3-1. The Blues are 5-6-3 over that stretch and have lost four of their last five.

They have also lost three of four at Scottrade Center and are 4-5-1 there after a 4-0-1 start. Thursday's 4-2 loss to Philadelphia dropped St. Louis to 1-2-0 on its five-game homestand, which closes against Colorado on Sunday night.

Robby Fabbri scored his first goal in six games to give the Blues a lead in the second period Thursday, but the Flyers answered with three goals to close the frame.

Coach Ken Hitchcock challenged the offense after the Blues scored one goal in three consecutive losses last week. Following the loss to the Flyers, he focused more on his team's toughness.

''We stopped checking,'' Hitchcock said. ''I'm sure the players said the same thing. Stopped checking. Stopped checking, opened up gaps, had some soft plays in the scoring areas against us and that gave them the three goals.''

Goaltender Jake Allen will face the Stars. After opening the season with a 1.53 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in his first 10 appearances, Allen has a 2.79 GAA and .894 save percentage in his last 11.

It is unclear if Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen will start for Dallas. While Niemi has allowed 11 goals on 48 shots in his last two starts against the Blues, Lehtonen surrendered six on 19 shots his last outing against them.